RARE MILeAGE ADVENTURE
RAILFAN/RARE MILAGE/TOURIST TOUR
APRIL 26-MAY 2, 2017
We visit these three countries on this tour to sample more of the indigenous locomotive classes of mostly Hungary and to travel on rare or freight only lines. We plan to cross into both Slovakia and Ukraine. There really is something for everybody on this trip that loves railroads and trains. If you like to travel on rare freight only trackage then this is your opportunity to do it. GM diesels rare freight only lines and great scenery. Highlights will be covering the broad-gauge network of the Záhony trans-shipping area and crossing over to Ukraine on freight-only broad-gauge lines, as well as visiting Komárno docks and enjoying great Hungarian cuisine and refreshments in the comfort of an air-conditioned restaurant car. Please take note that this is mostly a railfan tour but because of the rare milage we will travel on and the points of interest that tourist never get to see then it is of interest to everyone.
Day 1 Wednesday April 26:
Arrival in Budapest, Hungary's capital city. This is a bustling metropolis at any time of the year and there are too many sights to list them all. The riverside on both the east and west banks of the Danube are listed by Unesco as a World Heritage, including the view of Buda castle district. A second World Heritage site is Andrássy avenue that runs above the first electric underground line of the World, opened in 1896. Budapest boasts several thermal baths, seven food market halls, four metro lines and an amazing system of trams. The city also has three big railway termini. Tourists from all over the World enjoy the hundreds of restaurants and nightlife, and several craft beer bars are also located in the city. The Danube carries river freight from Rotterdam to the Black Sea and cruise line boats also dock in the city which has also many festivals and museums to choose from. You can ride along the Danube on tram lines 2 or 17, take the cog wheel railway to see the Children's Railway or ride the underground line to Heroe's Square where the Millenium monument is located. The Houses of Parliament now have a visitor's center. This neo-gothic style building was modeled in style on Westminster. Szent István basilica, named after the first king of Hungary. Buda Castle is well worth a stroll and can also be accessed also by the funicular, rising above the Danube, opposite Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge over the river in Hungary, opened in 1849. Matthias Church was where Franz Joseph, the Austrian emperor, was crowned King of Hungary. It dates from 1015 but has changed appearance many times throughout Hungary's history. Next to the church is Fisherman's Bastion, which is a composition of seven small towers and connecting walls, from where the view over the Danube and the eastern side of the city can be enjoyed. The castle district also houses the National Gallery and Museum of History, as well as some other smaller museums.
Day 2 Thursday April 27: (B)
Today we set off to do a circular tour via Slovakia. We first traverse the single track line to Esztergom, which is fully electrified since the end of 2015. As we set off from Keleti station shortly before 8 a.m. behind the locomotive of the NOHAB-GM Foundation (former MÁV "NOHAB" nr. M61 010), we will cross over the line from Budapest-Nyugati to Szob (which we will cover in the evening) by means of a very rarely used bridge. We then intend to cover a freight spur branching off Angyalföld station before crossing the Danube. Hungary has not many railway tunnels but we use one on our way to Esztergom. Before reaching this town, we will first use the avoiding line between Dorog and Tokod and reverse there. From Esztergom we travel back to Dorog to cover all three sides of the wye. Repeating our move to Tokod, we then travel along the Danube on a unit-only line as far as Almásfüzitő, where we join the main line from Budapest to Hegyeshalom (and further on to Vienna). After a short run we arrive to Komárom, where we will request to pass through the freight yard which will include a locomotive change.
The classic M61 General Motors built covered wagan
will pull our train for part of the day today
From Komárom, we will cross into Slovakia over the Danube, a piece of line that had passenger traffic for decades but not in the past several years. Both Hungary and Slovakia are part to the Schengen Treaty, so we expect no border formalities upon crossing the Danube, which is the boundary between the two. At Komárno, we have requested to visit the docks along the Danube, used by freight trains only. We then have main line running to Nové Zámky (reversal) and onwards to Šturovó. Motive power should be an unsilenced locomotive of Classes 751 or 770. Once we reach Šturovó, we will be just across the Danube from Esztergom. After changing locomotives to the only existing Hungarian example of the more powerful version of Class M44, produced for export to the Soviet Union (only three were made for use by industrial railways in Hungary), we will follow the river through the Danube's Bend, a short but scenic gap between two mountain ranges. We will soon pass Vác, the terminus of the first railway line built in Hungary in 1846. We will follow this line almost to the terminus at Nyugati station but just 3 kms short we use the rare curve between Rákosrendező and Zugló, to be followed by another rare curve from Zugló into Kőbánya felső. We reverse here for the final few kms back into Keleti station, arriving in the dark at roughly 9 p.m.
Day 3 Friday April 28: (B)
Today we will have a somewhat shorter day and plan to cover many industrial spurs in Budapest, departing Keleti station after 8 a.m. We will use green heritage loco M40 114 from MÁV Nosztalgia to access Soroksári úti freight yard, from where a private railway locomotive will take over to hopefully bring us into the brand new container terminal of Metrans, now being built on Csepel island. As the terminal is not yet open, we can not guarantee that this run will take place but according to the latest information we have, the terminal should be operational by the time of our visit. Returning to the freight yard, we will continue along the main line between Budapest and Kelebia as far as the BILK container terminal. We have requested to cover one industrial spur in this area and hopefully the tracks of BILK itself.
Repainted in heritage green
a class M40 will pull our train for part of the day today
We will return to Ferencváros yard, where we will travel into the freight yard and out on the other side, allowing a brief visit to the depot. After a change of locomotives, we will now travel behind an M32 type shunter to Kőbánya-Kispest and over the branch line that accesses Liszt Ferenc international airport for a very quick visit. Security issues may not allow us to access the end of the tracks or even get off the train at this site, so please bear with us! Once back to Ferencváros, we will travel via a section of freight-only tracks to Kőbánya-felső, then onwards to Rákosszentmihály and Rákos stations to try and cover three more (fairly long) industrial spurs, pending permission being granted by the affected companies. We then return to Keleti station before 8pm.
Day 4 Saturday April 29: (B-D)
After checking out of our hotels, this morning we again need to leave shortly before 8 a.m. to fit in between trains of the Budapest–Miskolc line! After a nice stretch of main line running behind a type M62 locomotive, which will include traversing the Gödöllő hills and then lots of flatlands, we intend to visit the stone quarry of Nyékládháza, which has its own industrial locomotives. We have high hopes that one of these will feature on front of our train! We will then use one of the few remaining Class 438 (formerly M43) diesel shunters to haul us on unused lines to Mezőcsát. This branch closed to passengers in 2007. Returning to the junction of Hejőkeresztúr, we change locomotives to an electric shunter of Class 460, formerly V46. This will take us to the end of the other branch, to Tiszapalkonya. We will travel past the end of current passenger operations to Tiszapalkonya-Erőmű station and have requested to be admitted into the power plant tracks as well. Once again, security issued may not make this possible.
In the morning the huge Soviet built class M62 will pull our train.
We return to the main line with our electric shunter and continue past Miskolc as far as Tokaj, where a 1-hour stop is scheduled to allow a quick visit to one of the wine cellars next to the station for those who wish to taste the famous Tokaj wines. These are not only sweet, in fact local people tend to drink the dry types. Our journey ends in Nyíregyháza 40 minutes after a 40-minute run but before leaving the train, we will visit the only industrial spur left active in the city with a Class 448 (formerly M44) diesel locomotive, and also visit the depot. A coach will transfer the group to downtown Nyíregyháza by 7 p.m., where we stay two nights. A group meal will be organized for hotel guests wishing partake as the selection of local restaurants is less extensive than in Budapest.
Class M44 diesel locomotive
Day 5 Sunday April 30: (B)
A slightly earlier than usual start to the day will see us depart from our hotel by coach to the station shortly after 7 a.m. We will travel over the main line to Záhony by the second class 408 (formerly M40) locomotive of our trip. A semi-open arrangement couchette carriage will be provided by UZ (Ukrainian Railways) to enable us to ride on the broad-gauge network of Hungary as the only carriage available in Hungary has not enough seats in it. These couchette cars are used for trips of up to two days long and can be used for daytime travel as well. We will be hauled by a broad-gauge type M62 locomotive along the complete MÁV broad-gauge network including the oil plant at Záhony, the spur to Tornyospálca, the freight yard at Eperjeske and the main line between Záhony, Eperjeske and Komoró.
After covering the Hungarian 5-foot gauge network, we endeavour to cross into Ukraine and travel to Chop and back via broad-gauge tracks, not used by passenger trains. Planning for this could not be finalized by late 2016 due to restructuring of UZ and a lack of pricing information. Furthermore, the exact execution of border formalities will need to be confirmed further to the date of travel. We kindly ask passengers' understanding in this regard. Returning to Hungary, we transfer back to our regular train and you will have 50 minutes to utilize the services of the restaurant car, should you require dinner before arriving to Nyíregyháza. Arrival time will be as late as 8 p.m. if the visit to Chop is feasible. The restaurant car staff will be happy to take orders in the morning so that dinner may be served when rejoining the train at Záhony. Again, a coach transfer will be available to the hotel.
Day 6 Monday May 1: (B)
Our final day sees us making our way back to Budapest via more interesting branch lines. We will need to check out of the hotel by roughly 7 a.m. and make sure the coach arrives to the railway station by 7.30. We first set off towards Mátészalka on slow-running unit-only track as far as Nyírbátor. An MÁV Class 418 or 448 locomotive will have to be used here due to axle-loading retrictions. At Nyírbátor the train will reverse and from here on a type M62 locomotive will haul our train to Debrecen where a NOHAB locomotive of MÁV Nosztalgia should take over for the rest of the trip. We will first travel via the Great Plains known as Hortobágy to Tiszafüred, then continue along more unit-only track (with only two pairs of trains a day) to Karcag. Following reversal, we continue west and instead of passing through Szajol, we will use the avoiding to Tiszatenyő. Another reversal sees us pass through Szajol and enter Szolnok freight yards. We will return to the main line over more freight track and perform a quick run to Budapest, where we will call at the airport stop (Ferihegy) around 5 p.m. to allow anyone wanting to catch a late flight home to do so. Our final minutes will see us arrive at Keleti station before 6 p.m.
Day 7 Tuesday May 2: (B)
Hotel check out and end of tour. There is a tour being offered by a European company that begins on May 2 called "Undiscovered Hungary" May 2-10, 2017. If interested we can e mail you the itinerary.
prices are per person
|BUDGET HOTELS DOUBLE ROOM....................................||$1,575|
|BUDGET HOTELS SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT.............||$295|
|FIRST CLASS HOTELS DOUBLE ROOM............................||$1,695|
|FIRST CLASS HOTELS SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT.....||$375|
|DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED..........................||$500|
|EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT BOOK BY DECEMBER 16..........||-$200|
|FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY JANUARY 26, 2017|
BUDGET HOTELS DOUBLE ROOM$1,575
BUDGET HOTELS SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$295
FIRST CLASS HOTELS DOUBLE ROOM$1,695
FIRST CLASS HOTELS SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$375
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$500
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT BOOK BY DECEMBER 16-$200
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY JANUARY 26, 2017
Oh my, Santa Fe Warbonnet in Hungary!
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2017 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.
Prices do not include:Personal items, meals not listed in the itinerary, laundry, phone calls, excess baggage charges, rental cars, side tours, insurance, passport fees including visas, vaccinations, gratuities, medical costs, tips to train or motor coach staff, extra tour costs due to unanticipated changes in the itinerary for reasons beyond our control, including weather, travel conditions, or cancellations, government intervention, sickness, political disputes, and failure of transportation or other causes beyond our control.
TRAVEL AND HEALTH DOCUMENTS:A valid passport is required for our international tours. In some cases a visa is also needed. Consult your health professional for the recommended immunizations and documents. Trains and Travel , here on referred to as TT, assumes no other responsibility if a client is refused entry into a country. Cost and cancellation fees will be paid by the client in the event they do not have valid documents.
CHANGE OF ITINERARY:We reserve the right to substitute, alter or modify the tour if any unexpected and unforeseen conditions beyond our control preventing the completion of such. Conditions can include weather, train schedules, equipment, motive power, revision of train consist, train delays, labor strikes, political disputes, derailments, closure of a rail line, break down of railroad or motive power equipment, railroads not honoring contracts and bus equipment problems. We will always endeavor, in each case, to provide substitutes, if any changes take place. TT is not responsible for canceled trains, delays, hotel rooms, route changes or missed connections, for any reason whatsoever. We will not give refunds if such conditions or cancellations take place.
TRAVEL INSURANCE:Travel insurance is strongly suggested. Insurance will cover and give tour members many benefits and protection. Benefits include baggage loss, accident, life, trip cancellation, sickness, bankruptcy, strike, weather conditions, employer termination or layoff effecting you or a person sharing the room with you, terrorist incident in your departure city or city of destination, jury duty, you are subpoenaed, hijacked, or quarantined, your residence or traveling companion residence is rendered uninhabitable, emergency military duty, traffic accident, single supplement upgrade when your room- mate cancels their trip, trip interruption, trip delay, missed connections, itinerary change, emergency medical benefits, medical evacuation, pre-existing medical conditions if enrollment is within 21days of your invoice date, assault of you or your traveling companion before departure, burglary of you or your companion before departure 24 hour hotline emergency assistance, emergency cash transfer and more .
RESPONSIBILITY AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY:Accepting your payment represents an agreement that you understand all the conditions, to be a member of our tours. TT gives notice that they are acting agents for the owners, contractors and suppliers, providing the transportation and all related travel services and assume no responsibility for equipment problems, mechanical failures, injury, sickness, damage, loss, additional expenses accidental delay or irregularities which may be caused through willful and or negligent acts or omissions on the part of the companies providing or engage in transportation, accommodations or services related to the accomplishment of the tour. Nor do we assume responsibility for natural disasters, social or political upheaval, acts of terrorism or acts of nature. TT reserves the right to substitute hotels, tour leaders, equipment, motive power, trains, onboard accommodations, routes and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary without notice. The right is also reserved to cancel any trip or train prior to departure for any reason . TT is not responsible for expenses incurred by tour members in preparing for the tour, including non-refundable airline tickets, visa fees, planning, phone calls, or any other expenses. TT reserves the right to decline to accept, or ask to leave a tour, any person whose actions impede the daily operations of a tour, welfare or or enjoyment of other tour members. TT cannot give any refunds for any unused services. The terms contained herein shall serve as a waiver of liability to TT . Assumption of risk on behalf of the client, their heirs, executor, administrators, successors, and assigns for any and all known persons injuries. In many cases it is not possible to advise the passengers on reasons for train delays if beyond our control.
RESERVATIONS: A deposit is due in our office within 14 days after you make your bookings. Full payment is due 90 days before departure except for the Grand Canyon Limited in which full payment is due on a different schedule. You will receive an invoice, reservation form and current tour bulletins with your confirmation and travel insurance forms. No notice for final payment will be sent to you. It is your responsible to make the final payment on-time.
CANCELLATIONS:TT does not accept cancellations on the phone. Cancellations must be received by postal mail, email or fax before any refunds will be considered. Allow enough time if sending your written notice by US mail postal system. When a written cancellation is received in the Trains and Travel office this will be the effective date of the cancellation. Please take note that it can take up to 60 days to to process some refunds. Cancellation refund rules: 120 days prior to the start of any tour you will receive a refund less a $200 per person administration fee. 119 to 61 days before the departure of any tour there will be a 80% cancellation penalty based on the full cost of the tour. Cancellations received 60 or less days before the start of any tour will not receive any refund. GW Travel Ltd has their own cancellation rules and these will apply. If booking on GW Travel Ltd ask for cancellation rules.
PRE-DEPARTURE TOUR BULLETINS:Tour bulletins will be sent to clients that have booked on tours operated by TT . Bulletins include travel info related to the tour. Final documents will be sent out about two to three weeks before a tour begins. We offer tours operated by other companies and they may or may not send out tour bulletins and updates and most send out final documents only one to two weeks prior to the start of their tours.
PAYMENTS: Payments can be made with personal check drawn on a U.S. Dollar account, money order for U.S. Dollars, bank wire transfer, or credit card. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express. Final payment for all tours is due 90 days prior to departure and we will charge your credit card on file unless you have given us other instructions. If final payment has not been received 7 days after the due date, a late fee of $50 per week will apply.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:All prices are based on double room occupancy. We will try and match you with a roommate if one is available. If not, you may be charged the single room supplement listed for the tour you are booked on. Single rooms may not be available in some remote locations and on some trains.
TOUR REFUNDS:If for any reason tour members amend or delete any arrangements during travel, and leave the tour on their own, we cannot give any refunds on unused portions of the tour. If buses and trains are cancelled by the carrier or there is a labor strike or they go out of business, we cannot be held responsible and we cannot give refunds. Travel insurance will protect you for any of these reasons. If TT needs to cancel any tour everyone will receive a full refund. Please take note that in some cases refunds can take up to 60 days to process.
PARTIAL TOURS:We will allow passengers to join or leave a tour at certain points. Give us a call and we will try and work up a custom option for you.
MILEAGE COLLECTORS:Mileage collectors please take note that TT does not cater just to mileage collectors. We cater to all folks that enjoy trains and Rail journeys. We give strong warning that itinerary and route changes do happen and this is totally beyond our control when it does. If the only reason that you would want to book a tour is to collect the rare mileage, you need to understand that possible route changes do happen.
Questions? Send Email To: Chris@traintrips.biz
Trains & Travel
Portola CA 96122
1-800-359-4870 USA or (530) 836-1944